I was grabbing my iced coffee before this morning's radio show when I learned that Dunkin's manager was the only person working there. "I can't get anyone to work", she says to me. I reply, "What, because of unemployment?" "That's part of it", she said.

This seems to be a common issue for some local Berkshire restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinations are ramping up, cases are trending down, restaurant restrictions have been lifted, people wanna go out to eat, but staffing issues are hindering efforts to serve patrons.

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Slater had the chance to speak Shannon Lovallo, the restaurant manager at Patrick's Pub in downtown Pittsfield about some of their staffing issues.

Slater: So how many staff do you have working for you now?

Slater: So what happens when you ask them to work more shifts?

Slater: Is this unemployment related? I know the benefits one can receive can be MORE than what they would make working.

Slater: Do some employees still fear getting COVID-19 even with protocols in place?

Slater: What are Patrick's hours now?

Slater also caught up with Luke Marion, owner of Otto's Kitchen and Comfort in Pittsfield.

Slater: How has the pandemic affected your ability to retain staff?


Slater: Why is there no help available?

Slater: What happens when the unemployment benefits expire?

Another local restaurant, District, is offering quite the incentive to work.

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